8 Things to Look For in a Learning Management System
Have you ever wondered if there was an easier way to educate new hires? Or for current employees to earn certifications required for their job positions? Learning Management Systems (LMS) are a great tool being used by managers in order to provide their employees with the specific educational requirements needed to bring a company to its full capability. Learned employees are typically happier people overall, feel valued by their employers, and have high job satisfaction.
In today’s ever-changing workforce, eLearning is one of the most effective and efficient ways to stay on top of your game. We’ve compiled a list with the help of our partner, CypherWorx, to help you know what to look for in a learning management system.
1. Ease of Use
So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and adopt a LMS system! You’ve researched all the ways that LMS can increase productivity and employee performance, but you may have forgotten to consider the usability of a system as a key factor in your evaluation process. But how do you determine if an eLearning system is easy to use?
If your employees cannot easily navigate through courses or have the ability to receive certifications and scores in a timely manner, then the system you’re using has poor usability. The LMS system you employ should be customizable to your individual needs, as well as have logical navigation as part of the system. The onboarding process and implementation of your LMS should be comprehensive, and include simple how-to guides for the smoothest adoption possible.
How are you currently evaluating your employees’ progress in a course that you’ve assigned them? Are the results readily available, or are you having to dig in order to get the data you’re looking for? What good is an eLearning system if there’s no way to track employee progress? Reporting capabilities should definitely be one of the top concerns when choosing an LMS for your business.
Real-time participation and event tracking are one of the best ways to determine if the courses you’re providing are working, and to see if your employees are taking the courses assigned to them. You should also be able to access any external training information that your employees undergo, as that training that you’ve assigned has effects on your people’s’ performance. Once their training/coursework is completed, make sure that your employees have the satisfaction of getting their certificate of completion printed immediately.
What kind of analytics and features are offered by the LMS you’re considering? Are they extensive and scalable, or do they fall flat? Functionality is something that many managers may overlook, only to discover after implementation that the system they adopted is not meeting all of their demands and expectations.
So how can you decide if an eLearning system is functional for your business or not? For starters, check to see if the system is scalable to your needs. If the system can’t grow organically with your organization, then it may not be as functional in the future as you originally believed.
One of the benefits of a cloud LMS service is the flexibility for workers to learn at their own pace, and at a location best-suited for an ideal learning environment. The ability to have 24/7/365 access to courses is ideal, and can keep employees from having to take valuable work time to participate in mandatory classes.
The major benefit of eLearning is that it’s web-based, and can be accessed on any mobile device. For managers, the major advantage of eLearning is that they are able to assign privileges to their workers anytime, anywhere; this ensures that everyone is taking their own courses and not doing the work for other coworkers.
5. Customer Support
Of course, if you’re going to have 24/7/365 accessibility, you will need an around-the-clock customer support service too. Your eLearning system should have a help desk available to you at all hours, in addition to vendor support. Online support hubs and user groups are a bonus, and can be extremely helpful in answering any questions you may have when operating the system.
If you’re still not sold on the amazing customer support that a solution is claiming, be sure to check out peer review sites in order to get a customer-perspective on a solution’s support. Case studies are also another great resource in determining if a LMS solution is really going to cater to your needs and give you support whenever you need it.
6. Security and Privacy
As in everything on the Internet, security and privacy is an issue that cannot be ignored, including the security and privacy of your employees’ eLearning vendors. An LMS system can host personal information such as home addresses, emails, social security numbers, and phone numbers, and vendor should be compliant based on industry standards. Making sure that your LMS also hosts privacy controls, utilizes server locations, and has an automatic backup system in addition to password-protected logins is the first step to keeping your employee records safe from prying eyes.
Another way to check if a provider is secure is to look for SCORM and AICC compliance. The Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) defines how a LMS and other training content should be constructed in order to work with other SCORM models; it also sets the expectations for how packaging content and exchanging data at run-time. The Aviation Industry Computer-based Training Committee (AICC) no longer just focuses on the aviation industry, but rather has set training standards for computer-based training programs in all industries. Even though AICC was disbanded in 2014, any LMS that had training content from before then will need to be AICC compliant.
7. Course Design
While having a set of pre-made courses through an LMS is a given, you should also be able to turn that awesome PowerPoint presentation that you labored over for hours into a course that could be assigned to the attendees of that meeting. Instructional design is one of the key components to look for in LMS; basically, it means that the system will work with you to design precisely the course that you want made.
You should also check to see if the LMS has course creation tools and content development, in order to create coursework directly related to your company and/or department. Having the option for course feedback is another great addition, as you can target where the coursework can improve. Ultimately, you need a eLearning system that allows for you to modify and design the courses that your business needs.
While many courses require just one person to be enrolled, that doesn’t always mean that the individual is the only one taking the course at a time. Collaboration among students of the course can help for a better overall understanding of the material, and generate a sense of comradery.
Be sure that any LMS service you’re evaluating has tools for communicative work, like discussion boards, to encourage conversation between course takers. Easy file exchanges and group note-taking are other important features to look for during your evaluation. Having centralized resource management capabilities, such as a the ability to create your own centralized library for company and/or department-specific content, is another must-have in any competent eLearning system.
It’s easy to see why eLearning is becoming the standard for employee training and certification in today’s workplace – in fact, almost 60% of companies claimed that using learning technology had a noticeable affect on their employee engagement. And with increasing number of tech savvy millennials entering into corporate America, eLearning is only expected to expand and grow. Utilizing a LMS system like CypherWorx can help you not only retain employees, but can also ensure that your people are working to the best of their ability.
Headquartered in Shreveport, Louisiana, APS is a national cloud-based HR solution provider and online payroll company committed to delivering value through flexible cloud technology and individualized support. Our cloud-based HR solution provides online payroll services, core HR, time & attendance,self-service, ACA reporting and compliance tools, and mobile in a single platform which can adapt to meet changing needs of companies in a wide range of industries; we have also been ranked as the 2017 Best Software by G2 Crowd. For more information, please visit http://www.apspayroll.com or call 855-945-7921.
The CypherWorx cloud based solution offers clients a variety of services that include Course Catalogs, Create A Course and a Learning Management System (LMS) with rich reporting to help companies with comprehensive employee training tools. CypherWorx is a leader in the mid-market space, combined with a proactive support team, flexible, cutting-edge technology and collaborative approach to providing the best solution possible.
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